Imprecatory Prayers Make Me Cringe

Voodoo dollOkay, I’ll admit it. As much as they are biblical, imprecatory prayers make me cringe. I ran into this one today as I continue to read through all 66 in one year:

Hear, O our God, for we are despised. Turn back their taunt on their own heads and give them up to be plundered in a land where they are captives. Do not cover their guilt, and let not their sin be blotted out from your sight, for they have provoked you to anger in the presence of the builders (Nehemiah 4:4-5, English Standard Versions.

Just not seeing the “love your neighbors” or “turn the other cheek” stuff going on here.

Your thoughts? Considering the persecution of Christians around the world right now, is it okay if we ask God to give them “what they deserve”?